Lean practice applies to all work, everyone, every day, all day.
As often happens, I was introduced at a company event recently as an "expert." I've never been fond of the term. Lean thinkers prefer to focus on gathering experience, learning from it, and applying it to the problem at hand. The notion of experts, often authorized through a certification process, too often devolves into an approach to improvement in which teams of experts swoop in to "do improvement to" the people who are trying to do the work, the frontline value-creating work of the business.
Though expertise gained through experience and events is a part of lean approaches to improvement and learning, lean practice is neither an expert nor an event model. Lean isn't lean if it doesn't involve everyone, every day, all day.
So I find it useful to ask myself, has everyone in my group practiced lean today? Have I?
Are You Ready for the Next Crisis?
We think the presence of a robust, socio-technically balanced lean management and operating system—based on the Lean Transformation Framework—was invaluable in helping Cleveland Clinic handle the challenges arising from the pandemic, write John Shook and Lisa Yerian.
Jidoka Supports Leaders Who Welcome Problems with John Shook
In this clip from last year's Virtual Learning Experience, LEI Senior Advisor John Shook explains the socio-technical system of Jidoka, where the human and machine work are separated and allocated with purpose, and how this lean pillar supports the lean ideal of "respect for people."
Two Giants, Two Communities, One Lasting Thing
In this graceful elegy of the impact of two pioneers who recently passed away, John Shook says: "Ezra and Norm belonged to adjacent communities – one studied Japan, the other promoted enterprise improvement.Ezra and the many proponents of the Japanese management boom set the table; Norm and his peers opened doors to achieving practical betterment."